BARNARD, George N. (1819-1902)
Allatoona from the Etawah.
[Pl. 24] [New York: 1866]. Albumen photograph from a negative taken in 1866, 10 x 13 inches, on original two-tone gilt-edged thin card mount, 16 1/8 x 20 inches, with plate title and photographer's credit.
A fine copy of a stunning image from Barnard's 'Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign', an album which is one of the two greatest photographic monuments to the Civil War and 'a landmark in the history of photography' (Keith F. Davis). A contemporary reviewer wrote of this image and its companions: 'These photographs... surpass any other photographic views which have been produced in this country - whether relating to the war or otherwise' ('Harper's Weekly', 8 December, 1866, p.771)
This image comes from George N. Barnard's album titled Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, embracing scenes of the occupation of Nashville, the great battles around Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain, the campaign of Atlanta, March to the Sea, and the Great Raid through the Carolinas (1866). This album, together with Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War (1866) are the two greatest photographic monuments of the Civil War. Between them, they contain some of the most famous images of the War.
This very sharp example of the photograph shows part of the northern Georgia battle scene after the battle in order to demonstrate the physical circumstances rather than the physical destruction or human loss. From the prominence from the photograph is taken we can see both the Etowah River and the Western and Atlanta Railway line. The Allatoona depot on the railway line was the object of the Confederate attack, which was repulsed after hard fighting, largely because Sherman had had time to prepare. Confederate General Hood had laid out a campaign to re-take Nashville, and this campaign was described in a speech that Jefferson Davis gave, which Sherman read in the local paper.
Cf. De Renne p.1317; cf. Howes B150, "b."; cf. Sabin 3462; cf. Taft Photography and the American Scene pp.232 & 486.
George N. Barnard Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign... with a new preface by Beaumont Newhall New York: 1977
Keith F. Davis. George N. Barnard Photographer of Sherman's Campaign Kansas City, Miss.: 1990.